There are a number of footballers who practice and follow the religion of Islam and in this article we look at some of the top players in the game who recognise themselves as Muslim.
Top Muslim Football Players
1. Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian forward has taken the Premier League by storm this season since his arrival from AS Roma for a reported fee of around £37.8million. He has already scored 36 goals across all competitions in his debut season for the Reds, with 28 in the Premier League, Salah is quickly becoming a fan favourite. If he’s continue his impressive form there will soon be a statue of him outside Anfield!
Salah is very religious and celebrates each goal by performing the ‘sujud’, which is the action to praise Allah, whilst he also named his daughter Makka, after the holiest city in Islam.
2. Mesut Ozil
The Arsenal playmaker is another Premier League star who practices Islam, reciting sections of the Quran before he takes to the field. The Turkish-German man has admitted in the past that he does try to follow Ramadan, although a football career does make it almost impossible to do.
The former Real Madrid star is known by many as an “Assist King”, having been the provider of 67 goals in 191 appearances for the Gunners since the 2013/14 season and became the quickest player in the Premier League to assist 50 times.
3. Riyad Mahrez
The Algeria international surprised everyone in the Premier League, producing some of the best football fans had seen, which helped Leicester City FC become unlikely champions in 2015/16.
His performances for the Foxes have seen him score 46 times and assisting a further 36, leading to the likes of Manchester City being linked with signing him on multiple occasions. Leicester has rejected their advances, which left Mahrez upset, however, he has bounced back and continued to perform at the highest level.
4. N’Golo Kante
Another one of Leicester City’s great finds from the French divisions, although he is now at Cheslea, N’Golo Kante is another one of the best footballers in the game who practices Islam. The defensive midfielder is widely regarded as one of the best in the world at his position, with many performances he makes look effortless.
He has an astonishing record in the Premier League, having lifted it two seasons in a row, first with Leicester before he was transferred to Chelsea and regaining the trophy with his new employers the season after.
5. Paul Pogba
Once the most expensive player in the world, Paul Pogba is a devote Muslim, who has shared a number of images on his social media pages. The midfielder re-signed for Manchester United in the summer of 2016 for a fee reported to be around £94.5million, having been sold to Juventus for just £3.15m four years earlier.
The 25-year-old has had a difficult return to England recently, having fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho and does not appear to have found his best position in the Red Devils side.
6. Karim Benzema
The France international forward practices Islam and can be found praying when he scores a goal for Los Blancos, a trait he is very good at doing. With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the side, sometimes his efforts can be forgotten, however, he has netted 189 goals in 399 appearances for Madrid, whilst also assisting a further 113 since 2009.
7. Franck Ribery
The Bayern Munich winger is a very religious Muslim that practices his faith, although that was not always the case, having converted to Islam. He prays five times a day and will offer up a prayer before he takes to the field.
He has been an incredible gifted footballer with the ball, with specialising in assisting the attackers he has with him at the club, creating 175 times for Bayern Munich, whilst also having a hand in scoring 116 goals in 378 appearances for the Bundesliga giants.
8. Miralem Pjanic
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has been highly regarded as one of the best footballers in the world for his displays with the Serie A champions, linking him with moves to Manchester United in the past.
Having played for AS Roma before joining the Old Lady for £28.8million in 2016, the central midfielder has gone on to record some impressive stats. During his time in Italy’s top division, he has gone on to make over 200 appearances, scoring 36 times and creating a further 62 goals.
9. Kylian Mbappe
The teenage superstar has signed for the Parisians in a deal thought to exceed over £105million from AS Monaco, although Paris Saint-Germain had to acquire him for an initial £31.5m fee on a loan switch.
The France international has torn up Ligue One defences during his relatively short career, having already bagged 27 goals in the league in 62 games, assisting a further 20. However, if you include all his strikes in other competitions as well, for example French domestic cups and the Champions League, the 19-year-old has 44 goals and 30 assists.
10. Shkodran Mustafi
The Germany World Cup winning defender is a practicing muslim and has been key for Arsenal during his short time at the Emirates Stadium. He joined the Gunners from Valencia two summers ago and has been fairly solid at the back, except for an error he made against Manchester City in the League Cup final.
Muslim players who are retired
Kolo Toure (his brother – Yaya – still plays)